Zachary Levi, Melissa George have differing opinions of social media
ABOVE: Watch Melissa George and Zachary Levi talk to John R. Kennedy about social media.
TORONTO — Melissa George wants to make it clear: She’s not on Twitter.
The Australian actress, in Toronto on Wednesday to promote her upcoming series Heartbreaker, said she shut down her Twitter account, @TheMGeorge.
“I got annoyed that it was like an open page for crazies to kind of say what they felt,” she told Global News. “And that opinion doesn’t matter. So I got rid of that.”
George said she kept her Instagram profile because it allows her to share photos with friends. “But it’s private,” she added.
While many celebrities actively use social media to spread the word about their latest projects or causes that are important to them, many who were on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook are no longer.
Still others have eschewed social media completely.
“I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, to be honest,” said actor Josh Duhamel, who has 975,000 followers. “It’s sort of a necessary evil.
“If you do it, do it all in or don’t do it at all. You can’t really do it halfway.”
Duhamel’s Battle Creek co-star Dean Winters told Global News in February he isn’t interested in sharing every moment of his life on social media.
“It’s become a little much,” he said. “A lot of the mystery in life has just evaporated.”
Winters said he has refused to live tweet during his shows.
“Why would I live tweet during the show as Dean when someone is trying to buy me as that character? I find it feels borderline disrespectful to the craft.”
Rock star Nikki Sixx told Global News in April that social media is an effective tool.
“It’s a great sounding board,” he said. “It’s also a lot of fun. You can use it to inspire people. You can always use it to mess with people.”
Canadian actor Enrico Colantoni has more than 38,000 followers on Twitter but doesn’t tweet obsessively.
“It’s one of those things that I don’t understand entirely,” he said of Twitter. “I don’t understand the importance.”
Still, he finds social media a good way to keep in touch with fans.
“It’s such a fun concept of jumping in and being intimate with people that want to know you and make you feel like you’re touching their lives in some special way,” said Colantoni. “I don’t want to be that tweeter who’s just promoting shows. I like to feel close.”
In March, Pamela Anderson closed her Twitter and Facebook accounts and set her Instagram to private. (Her Instagram went public again last month and has 88,000 followers.)
She said social media is “controlling us, desensitizing us” and “destroying relationships.”
Anderson added: “My personal life is my own. Not meant for Instagram. What was I thinking? How many likes/followers do not define me… Or anyone.”
Actor Zachary Levi, who stars in the upcoming series Heroes Reborn, has over 600,000 followers on Twitter. While not particularly prolific — in May he tweeted only once and retweeted twice — Levi said Wednesday celebrities need to embrace social media.
“It’s good for business to interact with your fanbase and to know how many people support you and to get your information out to them,” he said.
“We don’t live in 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s Hollywood anymore. You don’t get to live behind this weird silver screen veil where nobody knew who Rock Hudson was or what he was up to. It doesn’t work that way.”
Levi said stars can either use social media to exercise some control of the messaging that goes out “or it’s totally in the hands of everyone else.”
He said: “I’m not going to let that happen. I don’t want everybody else basically telling the world who they think I am. I want to tell the world who I am. And I want the world to know who I am.”
Levi said he understands “how people are a little hesitant to get into it or some people are very precious about it” but he has advice for them.
“Just be you, be yourself, go work. We’re so blessed that we get to be actors and make stupid money for playing dress-up. I mean, that’s really what we do,” he said. “So embrace that, embrace your fans, thank them for supporting you. ‘Cause at the end of the day, in the zombie apocalypse, all the artists, we’re the first ones to be eaten.
“Let’s be honest. We don’t have any survival skills.”
© 2015 Shaw Media